The All Progressive Congress (APC) in Osun state is set to lift ban on campaign for the gubernatorial election billed to hold in 2018.
The gladiators within the party are presently, covertly jostling to succeed the incumbent, Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola.
Aspirants, after the ban has been lifted, would be allowed to publicly declare their ambitions and embark on campaign.
A reliable source within the party leadership told DailyPost that leadership of the party has agreed to lift ban on campaigns in the first week of September.
Scores of individuals have so far shown interest in the plum job, which has relatively polarised the party in the last few months.
Among those jostling to succeed Governor Rauf Aregbesola within the party’s fold include: Moshood Adeoti, the incumbent Secretary to the State Government, and a former Chairman of ACN in the state.
Adeoti, who political pundits described as juggernaut, going by his grassroots knowledge and acceptance hails from Iwo, in the Osun West Senatorial District.
In the general political arithmetic in the state, the Osun West Senatorial District has been favoured by informal rotational method, after the duo of Bisi Akande and Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola from Osun Central held sway as governors of the state between 1999 and 2010.
The Osun East Senatorial District produced the incumbent, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola through a ruling of an appeal court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State on November 26, 2010.
The court had upturned the victory of retired military general, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, who Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared winner of the gubernatorial election of April 14, 2007.
Despite this sentiment, analysts have argued that the rotational sentiment might not work for Adeoti, citing his disconnection with some power brokers within the party, and more importantly, the incumbent governor.
Another individual, whose name has come up severally in the political permutation for 2018 in the state is the speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Honourable Najeem Salam.
Salam, a Masters Degree holder in Political Science from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife remains a political force in Ejigbo, his ancestral home, and one of the ancient towns in the West Senatorial District.
However, scores of stakeholders and conscious political minds have dismissed Salam as unfit and weak, saying, he practically lacks the requisite dexterity and courage to stir the ship of the state without blemish.
According to them, the parliament under his watch has been emasculated by the executive, and perpetually on its kneel.
One other bigwig in the party, who has not hid his strong appetite for the number one seat in the state is the incumbent Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Lasun Yussuf.
Yussuf, who is from Ilobu, another town within the West district emerged as the Deputy Speaker of the green chamber against the considered interest of his immediate political household and friends within APC.
The development has since pitched him against many interests in the party hierarchy, and became a substantial clog in the wheel of his ambition in the party.
Elder Peter Babalola, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, is another individual who has been telling those who care to listen about his interest to become the governor of Osun.
Babalola, a former chieftain of PDP in the state, who once served as the Chief of Staff to former governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola defected to APC in the count down to 2014 governorship election.
While many in his new political family consider him as a loyal member, others still see him as a stranger who should not be trusted with a sensitive and bigger assignment.
It has also been rumoured that the incumbent Commissioner for Finance in the state, Bola Oyebamiji is one of those eyeing the seat of power at Bola Ige house in Abeere.
Oyebamiji was said to have impressed governor Aregbesola by his excellent performance as the Managing Director of Osun Investment Corporation Limited, which according to some earned him the commissioner position and one of the options for his successor.
However, pundits say he is still a green horn in the political landscape of the state and impending power game, irrespective of his administrative savvy.
The name of the Chief of Staff to governor Aregbesola, Gboyega Oyetola has come up severally as the last joker in the power game against 2018.
According to a reliable source in the party, Oyetola remains the anointed candidate of a superior power bloc in APC and an inevitable choice of the governor at the long run.
However, opinion moulders have come up with different indices that could work against him at the poll, even if he eventually scaled through within the party to clinch the ticket.
One of those factors includes his significant role in the nagging imbroglio between the government and its workforce on nonpayment of salaries and emoluments, especially the backlog of pensions and other entitlements due to retired senior citizens in the state.
Also, Oyetola hails from Iragbiji, in the Osun Central Senatorial District that has produced the duo of former governor Bisi Akande and Olagunsoye Oyinlola.